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Re: Kato In Z, A Different Approach

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  • dannyg@dannyg.com
    ... While it can t hurt to start a buZZ going, I sense that for an established company like Kato to get into a new gauge, there must be one or more people in
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 1, 2001
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      --- In z_scale@y..., jcubbin@o... wrote:
      > I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but rather than just a couple of people approaching the Kato booth inquiring about Z, how about
      > some sort of petition from this group?

      While it can't hurt to start a buZZ going, I sense that for an
      established company like Kato to get into a new gauge, there must be
      one or more people in the company who will champion the idea. Someone
      on the inside has to be passionate about Z to make the business case
      for it. So, if you talk to execs from Kato and the like, listen
      carefully for clues as to who those insiders might be.

      Danny
      http://www.dannyg.com
    • jcubbin@optonline.net
      Danny, You may be completey correct in your sense of how a new Z line would be introduced by a company such as Kato, I don t have the large company experience
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 1, 2001
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        Danny,

        You may be completey correct in your sense of how a new Z line would be introduced by a company such as Kato, I don't have the
        large company experience to tell. As you said, it can't hurt to start a buzz, that's exactly what I propose. I think this possible buzz would
        only be a single element in the bigger picture, and given my (and many Z practitioners) lack of contacts or specific knowledge of a
        company like Kato... being a single element in the evolution of Z sounds pretty good.

        BTW, a big fan of your books, although my Macs still don't have a handle on Javascript!

        John Cubbin
        http://www.istreamnetwork.com



        > While it can't hurt to start a buZZ going, I sense that for an
        > established company like Kato to get into a new gauge, there must be
        > one or more people in the company who will champion the idea. Someone
        > on the inside has to be passionate about Z to make the business case
        > for it. So, if you talk to execs from Kato and the like, listen
        > carefully for clues as to who those insiders might be.
        >
        > Danny
        > http://www.dannyg.com
      • Robert Allbritton
        Danny, I agree. Targeting a single manufacture is indeed a good idea, but I fear it will take more grassroots campaigning than resources are available to get a
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 1, 2001
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          Danny,

          I agree. Targeting a single manufacture is indeed a good idea, but I fear it
          will take more grassroots campaigning than resources are available to get a
          company of Kato's size to plunge into a new scale. It will be a gigantic
          commitment on Kato's part to make the investment for tooling, marketing, and
          design, to get them into Z on the basis that I think folks are hoping for.
          The only way is to have someone on the inside who evangelizes the idea, and
          even then, it must be someone with decision making power. I think you are
          right: find the key man and get him (or her) on the Z bandwagon.

          Step #1 is showing that Z *is* in fact a viable scale, and I think the best
          way to do that is to get inexpensive starter sets in the hands of as many
          people as possible. There is a reason Marklin charges about $300 for a
          complete starter set with track, power pack, loco, and rolling stock while
          the loco alone is $225 - take a lower margin to get people on board (no pun
          intended, but enjoyed!) Even if the conversion rate of starter set owners to
          true fans is less than 10%, that 10% will expand Z faster than anything
          else. I could have just as easily gotten into N when I got into model
          railroads, but Z was available, sitting there, and cute as can be (or at
          least that's what my girlfriend told me)

          There is also something to be said for being the smallest in the store. It
          *will* attract attention based on size alone (same theory for our Garden
          railway fans) But it needs to be in the store before people will buy it.
          Ebay has not helped from that perspective.

          I think Z can, one day, be the 3rd scale, but it will take everyone pushing
          on all fronts to make it happen.

          Best,
          -Rob

          -----Original Message-----
          From: dannyg@... [mailto:dannyg@...]
          Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 10:06 AM
          To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [z_scale] Re: Kato In Z, A Different Approach


          --- In z_scale@y..., jcubbin@o... wrote:
          > I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but rather than just a couple of
          people approaching the Kato booth inquiring about Z, how about
          > some sort of petition from this group?

          While it can't hurt to start a buZZ going, I sense that for an
          established company like Kato to get into a new gauge, there must be
          one or more people in the company who will champion the idea. Someone
          on the inside has to be passionate about Z to make the business case
          for it. So, if you talk to execs from Kato and the like, listen
          carefully for clues as to who those insiders might be.

          Danny
          http://www.dannyg.com



          "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!


          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • Edward Scullin
          Sounds to me like this is the time for Rob Kluz to step in and send out with his next issue a petition or questionaire as to what we want or need if we could
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 1, 2001
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            Sounds to me like this is the time for Rob Kluz to step in and send
            out with his next issue a petition or questionaire as to what we
            want or need if we could convince somebody like Kato to get into Z.
            IE should the concentrate on trackwork or engines etc
            Maybe we could get some of the other Z scale publications
            /newsletters to follow suit ( Z club GB and Z club) Maybe Jeffery
            McHann could set up an open questionnaire/poll as to what people
            would buy or want, and realistically what we would pay for it.
            Ed Scullin

            --- dannyg@... wrote:
            > --- In z_scale@y..., jcubbin@o... wrote:
            > > I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but rather than just a
            > couple of people approaching the Kato booth inquiring about Z, how
            > about
            > > some sort of petition from this group?
            >
            > While it can't hurt to start a buZZ going, I sense that for an
            > established company like Kato to get into a new gauge, there must
            > be
            > one or more people in the company who will champion the idea.
            > Someone
            > on the inside has to be passionate about Z to make the business
            > case
            > for it. So, if you talk to execs from Kato and the like, listen
            > carefully for clues as to who those insiders might be.
            >
            > Danny
            > http://www.dannyg.com
            >
            >
            >



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          • Jeffrey MacHan
            Danny, you are absolutely correct...no champion, no joy! I ll be listening very carefully to be sure. I ll keep the list informed of how things develop at St.
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 1, 2001
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              Danny, you are absolutely correct...no champion, no joy!

              I'll be listening very carefully to be sure. I'll keep the list informed of
              how things develop at St. Louis.

              JRM


              >From: dannyg@...
              >Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
              >To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: [z_scale] Re: Kato In Z, A Different Approach
              >Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2001 14:06:04 -0000
              >
              >--- In z_scale@y..., jcubbin@o... wrote:
              > > I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but rather than just a couple
              >of people approaching the Kato booth inquiring about Z, how about
              > > some sort of petition from this group?
              >
              >While it can't hurt to start a buZZ going, I sense that for an
              >established company like Kato to get into a new gauge, there must be
              >one or more people in the company who will champion the idea. Someone
              >on the inside has to be passionate about Z to make the business case
              >for it. So, if you talk to execs from Kato and the like, listen
              >carefully for clues as to who those insiders might be.
              >
              >Danny
              >http://www.dannyg.com
              >
              >

              _________________________________________________________________________
              Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
            • Jeffrey MacHan
              ... Maybe Jeffery ... Sorry, Ed, I don t think Jeffery McHann will do much of anything...Jeffrey MacHan is always willing to lend a hand. ;-) It s no problem
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 2, 2001
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                >From: Edward Scullin <sculline@...>
                >Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                >To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: Re: [z_scale] Re: Kato In Z, A Different Approach
                >Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 15:52:19 -0700 (PDT)

                Maybe Jeffery
                >McHann could set up an open questionnaire/poll

                Sorry, Ed, I don't think Jeffery McHann will do much of anything...Jeffrey
                MacHan is always willing to lend a hand. ;-)

                It's no problem setting up a poll. We just need a series of items that
                generate interest. Up to now the maximum number of members who have taken
                part in a poll is 86. This is a terrific response rate of about 22%. We
                could make the poll open ended and allow members to chose all the items that
                they wish.

                Or how about 2 polls at the same time...one multiple answers and the other a
                single priority choice?

                New 1st generation road diesel (GP7-9) to complement the F7
                New 2nd or 3rd generation diesel (SD40 -45)
                More affordable starter set ($125 - $150)
                Modern design track and turnouts (Kato style)

                Cheers,
                Jeffrey MacHan
                _________________________________________________________________________
                Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
              • zerstoererx@aol.com
                Without a doubt you re right John, we should harness our collective influence and direct it at Kato first and foremost. Do any of you ex-N scalers out there
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 2, 2001
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                  Without a doubt you're right John, we should harness our collective
                  influence and direct it at Kato first and foremost. Do any of you ex-N
                  scalers out there remember when Atlas/Kato brought us their RS-3 back
                  in 1982-83? Before that N Scale motive power was about as innovative
                  as a network TV sitcom plot. (addmittedly the Roco/Atlas stuff was
                  decent) Kato is beyond a doubt the finest MASS producer of model
                  trains in the world. My brother-in-law snagged a seven car bullet
                  train set in Japan for a price that would make us Z scalers cringe!
                  Considerably less than $300 USD bought the new "500" Bullet train and
                  a Tomix starter track set with auto switches and x-former (kinda like
                  Fleischmann's track). Accordingly, my thanks to all who can make it to
                  St. Louis to do the "dirty work". If anyone can pull up Z it'll be
                  Kato. Has anyone out there ever bought a Kato loco and NOT had it run
                  flawlessly and whisper quiet out of the box? I highly doubt it! Again,
                  thanks guys - our scale needs the competition!

                  Regards,
                  John Stueber
                  --- In z_scale@y..., jcubbin@o... wrote:
                  > I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but rather than just a
                  couple of people approaching the Kato booth inquiring about Z, how
                  about
                  > some sort of petition from this group? There are nearly 400 members
                  after all, why not put those numbers to use? No matter how well a
                  > single argument can be crafted, I believe several hundred
                  individuals inquiring about a product would carry far more weight.
                  >
                  > This forum and Jeffrey R. MacHan are recognized by the NMRA's SIG,
                  this coupled with the voices of those several hundred Z_Scale
                  > members would, if not send the Kato folks running to the drawing
                  board, might get them to consider dusting it off.
                  >
                  > The topic has been kicked around, how popular is Z these days. One
                  sure acid test is right here. If only 5 or 10 people reply with
                  emails,
                  > then Kato is right to ignore Z. Let's find out definitively within
                  these ranks, how popular
                • Reynard Wellman
                  Hello Jeffrey, I just voted in your new poll, needless to say, you can guess which way I voted. I ve got plenty of locomotives, steam, diesel, etc. it s just
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 2, 2001
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                    Hello Jeffrey,
                    I just voted in your new poll, needless to say, you can guess
                    which way I voted. I've got plenty of locomotives, steam, diesel,
                    etc. it's just that I get tired of pushing them through those
                    Marklin curved turnouts. Is this an electric train set or one of those
                    wooden train sets I played with when I was in Kindergarten?

                    Best regards,
                    Reynard

                    Jeffrey MacHan wrote:
                    snip

                    >
                    > New 1st generation road diesel (GP7-9) to complement the F7
                    > New 2nd or 3rd generation diesel (SD40 -45)
                    > More affordable starter set ($125 - $150)
                    > Modern design track and turnouts (Kato style)
                    >
                    > Cheers,
                    > Jeffrey MacHan


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Reynard Wellman
                    Hello John, Sometimes I wish I had never heard of KATO, they ve spoiled me. The quality of the track and locomotives, the ease of assembly, wiring, etc. has
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 3, 2001
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                      Hello John,
                      Sometimes I wish I had never heard of KATO, they've
                      spoiled me. The quality of the track and locomotives, the ease
                      of assembly, wiring, etc. has caused me to make unfair comparisons.

                      When N scale first started out (actually in the mid-60's) up until
                      the 80's, it was mostly junk, stuff that wouldn't run,
                      terrible turnouts, lumpy looking buildings and freight cars.

                      KATO lit a fire under the other manufacturers -- get better or starve!

                      Z scale needs someone like this to show the others the way.
                      I couldn't agree with you more. I've yet to see a KATO product
                      perform poorly, unless I threw it accross the room or something.

                      Regards,
                      Reynard


                      zerstoererx@... wrote:

                      > Without a doubt you're right John, we should harness our collective
                      > influence and direct it at Kato first and foremost. Do any of you ex-N
                      >
                      > scalers out there remember when Atlas/Kato brought us their RS-3 back
                      > in 1982-83? Before that N Scale motive power was about as innovative
                      > as a network TV sitcom plot. (addmittedly the Roco/Atlas stuff was
                      > decent) Kato is beyond a doubt the finest MASS producer of model
                      > trains in the world. My brother-in-law snagged a seven car bullet
                      > train set in Japan for a price that would make us Z scalers cringe!
                      > Considerably less than $300 USD bought the new "500" Bullet train and
                      > a Tomix starter track set with auto switches and x-former (kinda like
                      > Fleischmann's track). Accordingly, my thanks to all who can make it to
                      >
                      > St. Louis to do the "dirty work". If anyone can pull up Z it'll be
                      > Kato. Has anyone out there ever bought a Kato loco and NOT had it run
                      > flawlessly and whisper quiet out of the box? I highly doubt it! Again,
                      >
                      > thanks guys - our scale needs the competition!
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      > John Stueber
                      > --- In z_scale@y..., jcubbin@o... wrote:
                      > > I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but rather than just a
                      > couple of people approaching the Kato booth inquiring about Z, how
                      > about
                      > > some sort of petition from this group? There are nearly 400 members
                      > after all, why not put those numbers to use? No matter how well a
                      > > single argument can be crafted, I believe several hundred
                      > individuals inquiring about a product would carry far more weight.
                      > >
                      > > This forum and Jeffrey R. MacHan are recognized by the NMRA's SIG,
                      > this coupled with the voices of those several hundred Z_Scale
                      > > members would, if not send the Kato folks running to the drawing
                      > board, might get them to consider dusting it off.
                      > >
                      > > The topic has been kicked around, how popular is Z these days. One
                      > sure acid test is right here. If only 5 or 10 people reply with
                      > emails,
                      > > then Kato is right to ignore Z. Let's find out definitively within
                      > these ranks, how popular
                      >
                      >
                      > "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Edward Scullin
                      At the national train show, several of us Z scalers went over to the Kato booth, and inquired as to what plans they had for Z. The answer is NOTHING. they
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 18, 2001
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                        At the national train show, several of us Z scalers went over to the
                        Kato booth, and inquired as to what plans they had for Z.
                        The answer is NOTHING. they stated that their major market (about
                        90%) is in Japan, and the rest of the world is only 10% of their
                        market. There is no "desire" for Z in Japan, they are satisfied with
                        N, so that is where they will say. The comment is that US and other
                        prototypes are a very small part of their market. The children in
                        Japan are very train conscious in that they grow up with them, ride
                        them to and from school and when ever they go anywhere.
                        It seems to me that the size reduction between N and Z would e enough
                        of a reason since most living spaces are FAQs smaller than we in the
                        states are used to. three bedroom apartment with a total of less
                        than 1,000 square feet.
                        We now need another target, for an Email and possibly leter writing
                        campaign. Any suggestions?
                        Ed Scullin

                        --- Reynard Wellman <micron@...> wrote:
                        > Hello John,
                        >SNIP
                        > When N scale first started out (actually in the mid-60's) up until
                        > the 80's, it was mostly junk, stuff that wouldn't run,
                        > terrible turnouts, lumpy looking buildings and freight cars.
                        >
                        > KATO lit a fire under the other manufacturers -- get better or
                        > starve!
                        >
                        > Z scale needs someone like this to show the others the way.
                        > I couldn't agree with you more. I've yet to see a KATO product
                        > perform poorly, unless I threw it accross the room or something.
                        >
                        > Regards,
                        > Reynard
                        >
                        >
                        > zerstoererx@... wrote:
                        >
                        > > Without a doubt you're right John, we should harness our
                        > collective
                        > > influence and direct it at Kato first and foremost. Do any of you
                        > ex-N
                        > >
                        > > scalers out there remember when Atlas/Kato brought us their RS-3
                        > back
                        > > in 1982-83? Before that N Scale motive power was about as
                        > innovative
                        > > as a network TV sitcom plot. (addmittedly the Roco/Atlas stuff
                        > was
                        > > decent) Kato is beyond a doubt the finest MASS producer of model
                        > > trains in the world. My brother-in-law snagged a seven car bullet
                        > > train set in Japan for a price that would make us Z scalers
                        > cringe!
                        > > Considerably less than $300 USD bought the new "500" Bullet train
                        > and
                        > > a Tomix starter track set with auto switches and x-former (kinda
                        > like
                        > > Fleischmann's track). Accordingly, my thanks to all who can make
                        > it to
                        > >
                        > > St. Louis to do the "dirty work". If anyone can pull up Z it'll
                        > be
                        > > Kato. Has anyone out there ever bought a Kato loco and NOT had it
                        > run
                        > > flawlessly and whisper quiet out of the box? I highly doubt it!
                        > Again,
                        > >
                        > > thanks guys - our scale needs the competition!
                        > >
                        > > Regards,
                        > > John Stueber
                        > > --- In z_scale@y..., jcubbin@o... wrote:
                        > > > I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but rather than just a
                        > > couple of people approaching the Kato booth inquiring about Z,
                        > how
                        > > about
                        > > > some sort of petition from this group? There are nearly 400
                        > members
                        SNIP
                        > > > This forum and Jeffrey R. MacHan are recognized by the NMRA's
                        > SIG,
                        > > this coupled with the voices of those several hundred Z_Scale
                        > > > members would, if not send the Kato folks running to the
                        > drawing
                        > > board, might get them to consider dusting it off.
                        > > >
                        > > > The topic has been kicked around, how popular is Z these days.
                        > One
                        > > sure acid test is right here. If only 5 or 10 people reply with
                        > > emails,
                        > > > then Kato is right to ignore Z. Let's find out definitively
                        > within
                        > > these ranks, how popular
                        > >



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                      • ztrack@aol.com
                        I found it interesting that a Kato representative stopped by the Ztrack booth at least 6 times to study the Z scale models... Rob Kluz Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 19, 2001
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                          I found it interesting that a Kato representative stopped by the Ztrack booth
                          at least 6 times to study the Z scale models...

                          Rob Kluz

                          Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                          6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                          Dublin, OH 43016
                          Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
                          www.ztrack.com
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